WASHINGTON – Runners to the starting line! The Metropolitan Area Credit Union Managment Association (MACUMA) is in the planning stages of becoming the title sponsor of Washington, D.C.'s premier spring running event, The Cherry Blossom 10 Mile. The race will celebrate its 30th anniversary when it's held next year on April 7, 2002. The event is part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Professional Road Running Organization Circuit. In previous years, the race has attracted Olympic medallists and world-record holders. Both the men's and women's world records for 10 miles were set in the 1995 race. Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Representatives Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) serve as Honorary Race Directors. William Brooks, president/ CEO, Lafayette FCU, Kensington, Md. and members of LFCU's Board were on a cause-finding mission back in June in search of an activity they could participate in that would allow the credit union to give something back to the community it serves. Around the same time, said Brooks the credit union learned that Nortel Inc., which had sponsored the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile for the past 12 years, had pulled out of the race. It was the right opportunity at the right time. Brooks emphasized that although the idea for the race sponsorship was LFCU's, "This isn't our credit union's project, it's a MACUMA effort," he said. Brooks has run the 10 mile race six times – and finished each time within the two-and-a-half hour limit. MACUMA would like to see race day be treated as a national day for credit unions and focus on CMN. A portion of applicants' entry fees will go towards CMN, said Brooks. MACUMA is also considering setting up a Web site members can access to pledge money to CMN. "This is a tremendous opportunity to get credit unions' names out there not only linked with such a prestigious event, but as an opportunity to give something back to their communities through the Children's Miracle Network," said Brooks. To be chosen as the race's new sponsor, MACUMA has to raise $140,000 to cover expenses. At press time, Brooks said it had raised about $50,000 of the goal in pledges. Although that represented only 35.7% of the goal, Brooks said he had no doubt MACUMA would raise the necessary amount. He said the critical mass is building. At press time, it had already received pledges from 14 credit unions, CUNA Mutual, CUNA and NAFCU. As soon as the money is raised, Brooks said the next step will be to form an organizing committee to take care of things like designing a logo, securing contracts and creating a tagline. Already, representatives from several credit unions have volunteered: Juri Valdov, Northwest FCU; Theresa Mann, FDIC FCU; Loren Moeller, Navy FCU; Cynthia Meadows, Apple FCU; Liz Santos, Wright Patman Congressional FCU; and Elizabeth Rissel, Government Printing Office FCU. "We're asking credit unions to pledge .002% of their assets up to a maximum contribution of $5,000 for the race sponsorship," said Brooks. Payment wouldn't be required until Jan. 2002, but no later than Jan. 15, 2002. "We hope credit unions will help us make this a great event for CMN and for credit unions," said Brooks. Information on the race and sponsorship is available online at www.lfcu.org/credit unioncb10mile. – [email protected]

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